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San Francisco Mayor London Breed Friday urged San Franciscans to show greater support and confidence in Chinatown businesses negatively impacted by growing fears of COVID-19.

Along with elected California state and city officials, Breed toured to San Francisco Chinatown to back the businesses in the historical area of the city as more people declined to visit and dine at Chinatown shops and restaurants over circulating fears about the novel coronavirus disease.

Breed on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the city to boost preparedness for possible COVID-19 spread as more cases of the infections were reported worldwide. The declaration dealt an extra blow to businesses in Chinatown, which had already experienced a declining number of customers.

“This (declaration) is really about preparedness …It’s really about giving us the tools in the city to make decisions fast and to set up so that we are prepared,” Breed told reporters.

“We know that this had an impact on our tourism industry, on our Chinese community. And we want to do everything we can to help address that,” said Breed.

She reiterated that there have been no COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, although there was plenty of xenophobia in the city.

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin also said the declaration of a local emergency is aimed at unleashing “all resources to make sure people are safe and healthy and that our economy remains vibrant.”

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the United States has a total of 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with three cases of infection from an unknown origin. There are also 47 infected people who evacuated from either Wuhan, China, or the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan. Enditem

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